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Welcome outcome on Wildlife Wet Markets

Media Release 19 May 2020

The Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud is pleased to see the strong international support which he led last month at the G20 to investigate Wildlife Wet Markets as part of the broader review of COVID-19.

Minister Littleproud said his call for the expert review to look into the wildlife wet markets which he lead at the G20 last month will provide a greater understanding of how to prevent another devastating event like COVID-19.

“Since 1980, two pandemics have been linked to wildlife wet markets and a further two linked to unsustainable wildlife practices – this is acknowledgment we need to work globally to protect us from these risks.

“We have long known about the risks associated with wildlife wet markets and the potential for pandemics they pose but they also are a risk to agriculture and food security.” Minister Littleproud said.

“That is why I worked with Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Mark Schipp to push for global reforms underpinned by a scientific review.

“It’s fair to say I was the outlier at that time but with calm and methodical work, the setting up of this scientific review has vindicated our efforts.

“It will take a global effort to reduce the risks for disease to emergence and spread, and the threat to agriculture that the mix of wildlife, domestic animals and humans provide in wildlife wet markets.

“The review will be a joint WHO, OIE, FAO collaboration. Together we can gather information that will contribute to the betterment of all nations.

“Let’s hope the outcomes of the review finds ways to protect human life and the agriculture that underpins global food security.”